The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lower Level Living. . .

Seems as if we spend a great deal of time in the lower level living On Crooked Creek than in years past. Contributed in part, to the Studio where I spend many of my days creating and designing. "Mr.Ed", also, has various hobbies which he pursues on the lower level, as well. 

So~o~o. . .I've been doing a lot of photographing and tweaking of our living areas.

 BEFORE. . .
Christmas On Crooked Creek 2010!

Several close friends and I have chatted about a bug going around "our town".  .  . a "cleaning bug" to be more specific. At first thought, we all decided it was caused by the near 70 degree weather we were experiencing. Not a common factor on the prairie. Maybe it was the onset of Spring cleaning with our spring~like temperatures. Whatever caused "the bug", it sure has made a difference in the appearance of lower level living On Crooked Creek!

. . .AFTER!
The "Cleaning Bug" 2011!

Our son and daughter~in~law were a great help in assisting me to pull off a huge surprise for "Mr. Ed" this year for Christmas. We replaced his remote control color T.V. with a new flat screen T.V. Yes! I know everyone else has one. . .but dear hubby didn't. Now he does.

At first, we tried watching T.V. from the gentleman's dresser. I don't know if it was the tree or the hat box, but I always seemed to be distracted!

Double Dresser in Dining Room.

Double Dresser
Across from Couch.

That "cleaning bug" really took hold of me. . .and I moved the double dresser from the dining area and placed it across the room from the couch.

A Comforting Reading Chair.

The Lodge Tree that we usually kept out all year long . . . now has a new home under the staircase and will remain there until Christmas On Crooked Creek. In it's place is an upholstered rocking chair and pillow that belonged to my beloved mother.

In keeping with the decor of the lower level, I added a few Trout Fishing accessories. . .

Wooden Trout, Cattails and a set of Coasters.

A pair of Candlesticks!

Now when I take a break from the Studio. . .or "Mr.Ed" wants some weekend warrior sports viewing, the distractions are minimal.

I can't guarantee that "the cleaning bug" won't visit you. . .
                                                       but one thing I can be assured of. . .

On Crooked Creek. . .
                                      There are always distractions!

I'm joining hostess Susan @ Between Naps On the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday! Please stop by and visit all the inspiring and creative projects the ladies of blog land have been preparing for your viewing pleasure!

Until next time. . .

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dreary Days on the Prairie. . .

Just another dreary day on the prairie. . .
                                                        So~o~o. . .I baked some cookies!

One of my most enjoyable magazines is Tea Time magazine. While browsing the January / February 20111 edition, I came across a recipe for cashew cookies. I crave anything with cashews! ! !
"Mr. Ed" just likes nuts!

All the required ingredients are, basically, those in every household pantry.

. . . and, yes, it makes 2 dozen cookies!

. . . 2 dozen cashew cookies!

M~m~m~. . .
what better way to chase away a dreary day on the prairie than Cashew Cookies Under Glass?

Tea Time magazine photo. . .

On Crooked Creek photo. . .

Two dozen cashew cookies . . . divided.

Chasing away . . .

dreary days . . .

                                                                                  . . . on the prairie!

Until next time. . .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Candlelight Table for Two.

As most of you already know, I'm a hopeless romantic. This year I had the privilege of the presence of "Mr.Ed's" company for dinner on Valentine's Day. . .so~o~o, I set a Candlelight Table for Two.

The two of us have, truly, been enjoying our new chairs that Santa brought early On Crooked Creek. Most of the time they reside in this position next to the over sized checker game. I surprised "Mr.Ed" with this game for Christmas a few years ago. Our son, talented designing engineer that he is, made this table to hold the game. It is exactly 36" X 36"! EXACTLY!

Miss Maurice, our princess, wasn't at all sure about the idea of invading her "house" on the lower level. Then when I moved all the checkers off. . . well,  just saying she wasn't happy would be the understatement of the century!

See that evil glare in her eyes?

Once I removed all the checkers. . .I was ready to proceed. . . with or without Maurice's approval! Because this is such a lovely piece, I added lots of padding to protect the game board.

I used a vintage, scalloped, open fretwork, linen tablecoth in an ecru hue. Originally belonging to my beloved grandmother, paused down to my beloved mother, passed down to me. Oh! the love that was already surrounding "Mr. Ed" and I, at times, began to overwhelm me!

Still wanting to be assured that the game board would be properly protected, (in case of a spill) I layered the tablecloth with a 36" X 36" quilted table topper. This  piece was sold in an Antiques Shop as a doll blanket. I adore the hues of sage greens, muted pinks, reds and beiges. It is one of the most versitile and utilitarian pieces used regulary On Crooked Creek.

The table topper was placed on the diagonal as there would be no room to add placemats!

"Mr. Ed" prefers the fleur~de~lis open fretwork plate. . .

. . .while I prefer the lacey open fretwork plate.

I don't know how noticable they photograph, but I've been working on some new napkin folds for an upcoming Fellowship
4 X 4 Dinner Group. The fold I used for this evening is an accordian fold then rolled at the center before placing into the glasses with only a slight fluffing. It gives the optical illusion of a jack~in~the ~pulpit. Breathtaking through the bubble glass stemware!

Completing each place setting are our everyday beaded stainless steel, our sage dinner plates and I. Godinger and Co. salad plates in the softest shade of cream. 

The rarity of fresh flowers On Crooked Creek was ignored for this special evening. For tonight is all about romance! What better way to celebrate our Candlelight Table for Two than with a pale pink long stem sweetheart rose reminiscent of the ones used at our wedding?

"Mr. Ed's" favorite candy. . .Pecan Turtles are waiting his arrival On Crooked Creek!

A romantic Candlelight Table for Two
from the Love of My Life's point of view. . .

                                              . . and from My Loving Wife's point of view.

While I lit the candles in the fireplace for suttle ambient lighting during our dining. . ."Mr. Ed" quietly placed my favorite White Chocolate Lindor Truffles on my salad plate! Then, he helped me turn the chairs for dining.

The Menu:
 Green Salad
with Cream Mustard Vinaigrette
Chicked Almondine
 Chicken Noodles

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Raspberry Yogurt
Columbian Coffee

Since this was such a special occasion and our dining table so small, I set up my beloved grandmother's tea cart with our coffee and dessert. I don't ever remember Grandmother using this in her dining room. I remember it on her utility porch with pots of African Violets.

I used a vintage Grape Leaf open embrodiery ecru linen table cloth to disguise its utilitarian qualities.

Matching place mats were used on both levels of the tea cart. The bottom shelf housed our water pitcher and served as a place to stack used tableservice. The top held our utilitarian coffee carafe, white embossed cups and saucers, my Mother~in~laws depression saucers for our cake and bowls for the yogurt. I added a faux pot of miniature roses to enhance the flavor of romance to the evening.

We chose to linger in front of the fireplace for the evening. To savor our Valentine's Day spent On Crooked Creek, "Mr. Ed" turned on his reproduction vintage phonograph and enlighten us with one of my favorite vintage LP's ABBA / Arrival. . .and one of his . . .Danny Davis & Willie Nelson with the Nashville Brass.

I shall long remember this Valentine's Day with the Love of My Life On Crooked Creek.

On Crooked Creek will be joining hostess Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Inspirations abound each week as the ladies of blog land share their labors of love from their own home decor with us. Be sure to stop by for a visit.

Until next time. . .